So, this weekend was pretty much of a ‘wash’ so to speak, at least with respect to getting in any two-up time on the big bikes, or even the little bikes for that matter. Hurricane Joaquin never made landfall, but it did a pretty good job of saturating the entire eastern seaboard, to include places as far inland as Atlanta.
This was a bad news – good news story for us. The bad news is, we ended up not driving to Richmond, Virginia, for a three-day tandem cycling rally. Yeah, we figured making a 9-hour drive on Thursday night to get to a location that had flash flood warnings in effect so we could spend three rainy days not cycling while dropping $500 on a hotel and another $200 on food and fuel, before driving 9-hours home on Sunday wasn’t really going to be the smartest move. The good new is, it meant we could stay closer to home and do a lot of indoor stuff + relaxing (since it was also raining non-stop here) AND join our friends for a monthly breakfast gathering on Saturday!
Yes indeed, when you’re served lemons you gotta make lemonade! So, that’s what we did. Friday night, as regular readers would expect, saw us paying a visit to Loco Willy’s. We were back to our fajita Friday routine with a Chipotle shrimp taco chaser for me: I was really hungry for some reason. Debbie’s post-fajita needs were of the frozen variety… no, not another Margarita, but a DQ Blizzard so we made that stop on the way home. That’s one of those things that I consume and then wonder what the heck was I thinking? You know, like donuts, fudge and all of that other highly addictive stuff sweet freaks like me are drawn to like a crack-head to their next fix. Ugg.
Saturday morning I turned my attention to an overhaul of the shifters, brakes, rear derailleur and the associated cables, cable housing and bar tape on our Calfee tandem bicycle. It’s more of a mental exercise for me than a true problem with the bike that I was trying to fix. For those who are interested, there are more details on my pedal-powered bike addiction in this entry from my other other blog. For context, if you think my having three (3) motorcycles is a sign of a mental disorder, consider what it means when you have twelve (12) fairly high-end bicycles, including a pair of tandems and a triplet. Yeah, I got issues…
However, the highlight of the weekend was joining the family of dear friends we know via our motorcycling interests who adopted us two years ago when we first met them at a lunch stop near Mexico Beach, Florida, during bike week at Panama City Beach (photo at left). Carrie Ann & Bobby (Center and left w/Steelers Cap) were hosting a monthly meeting of “the breakfast club” at their lovely new home and they were kind enough to invite us to join them.
The breakfast club is, for the most part, the same close-knit group of friends with whom they ride motorcycles, attend church, support fund-raisers and routinely socialize at The Beer Barrel, Brewsters, Semper Fi, Bodocks, Mulligans and a variety of other local haunts. We met most of the ‘club’ during our trips to Panama City Beach and our occasional visits to Brewsters. They’re just some of the best people we’ve ever known: all hard-working, God-loving, kind-hearted and fun-loving folks who look out for and take care of each other and are every-ready to lend a hand or anything else to other good-folks in need, even if it’s just a prayer or paying them a visit. You know, the kind of stuff that has always made this country great: a sense of community and good-will towards others.
Anyway, we arrived at Byrne Manor around 11:00am and found the garage and house filled with friends in good spirits having a great time just shooting the breeze and enjoying each other’s company. We had a couple of trips into “too much information” (TMI) land, but that’s hardly unusual when you’re around really good friends who let their hair down and don’t get all wadded-up with PC-ness and other guarded behaviors that ‘acquaintances and colleagues’ have to impose on their discussions. Poor Rick C. was pulled into the kitchen to cook 54 eggs (he’s a big-time giver of his time, energy and love) which was just part of the amazing feast that Carrie Ann, Jeanette and others were putting together in the kitchen: it was truly a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving-Day breakfast feast that had been prepared! Well, OK, there’s usually not mimosas, spiked OJ or beer in those Rockwell paintings, but it was brunch more so than breakfast! There was also a group effort to clean up afterwards and I think it was about 3:30 before we finally bid our goodbyes, being one of the last couples to leave. It was just such a great time, we didn’t want it to end! In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone was so engaged that few if any photos were taken! Really, how often does that happen?
Back at the house I did a little more work on our tandem bicycle before we headed over to Henry’s Taste of Louisiana in Acworth, Georgia, for dinner. We were surprised to find Henry’s with a light crowd and easily found a couple of seats at the bar where Julie took care of us. We had a bar patron with us for our first 30-minutes or so who had clearly spent way too much time at the bar that chatted us up. We were polite and did our best to be good listeners but were happy to see that the thoughtful staff at Henry’s called a cab for her and helped her on her way home. In some respects it was a good distraction because the Georgia – Alabama game was anything but entertaining for anyone other than fans of Alabama. I’m not a huge Georgia fan (no worries, I’m not a big fan of any college team since I went to about 5 different schools and finally received my degree from a small college that doesn’t have a football team) but I like a good football game and that game was ugly. We enjoyed some crawfish dip as an appetizer and shared Henry’s shrimp & grits as our entrée… which filled us to the brim. We were tempted to try the Monk fish or Fillet specials, but opted for what we thought would be lighter fare: in retrospect, the steak fillets would have probably been less filling than those ever-expanding grits!!
Our plan for the evening was to head home and chill for a little while before heading off to a club in Woodstock where our friend Stacey and his band would be playing from 9:30pm to 1:30am. However, I’m not sure it was something I ate or something that was in the air, but between the time I walked out of the restaurant and pulled into our driveway, I went from feeling perky and ready to party to wiped out and ready to crash. My sinuses were suddenly running, my eyes sore and tearing and my chest was tight and breathing was hard. After getting my contacts out, I went downstairs to see if relaxing a bit while watching LSU struggle with Eastern Michigan would help and the next thing I knew it was 6:30am on Sunday morning and Debbie had covered me with a blanket. Debbie said I was “out” less than five minutes after laying down. She had been talking to me from the kitchen and when she came in to join me to watch the game I was sound asleep. She covered me with a blanket and that was the end of our night. I’m really bummed that we didn’t get out to support Stacey and visit with our friends, but apparently that wasn’t an option for me. My head is still congested and I’m clueless as to what hit me. Hopefully my Zyrtec and Flonase will take care of whatever’s in the air so that I can clear my head.
The rest of the day looks to be pretty low-key. I’m about to head off to the garage where I’ll finish up the tandem bike, do some inside chores (yes, it’s still raining) and at some point we’ll head over to Loco Willy’s for wings and football. With any luck, the pro games will be good games today and give us some entertaining background music as we knock out our chores.
All-in-all, a relaxing weekend that should have been a whirlwind for us. We were really looking forward to the Southern Tandem Rally and seeing our cycling friends while getting in some much-needed time on tandem this past weekend. In fact, the truck was loaded up with the tandem just waiting for the rest of our luggage earlier in the week. I was also looking forward to not being at work on Thursday and Friday. Alas, that wasn’t in the cards. However, always looking for the silver lining and in addition to being able to join the Breakfast Club, not making the trip to Richmond has gone a long way towards firming up our ability to do back-to-back motorcycle rally’s in Florida later in the month. So, more to follow on that!